“My life is like a movie. I do my own stunts.” ~Lil Wayne
I am not a Lil Wayne fan. However, this short and poignant quote touched my soul. I like the position he takes with his words–active, aggressive, in charge and true to himself. I dig that.Advertising
Viewing your life from the posture of both star and screenwriter of your own personal box office masterpiece as opposed to a spectator sitting in the audience taking it all in with a bag of popcorn, could be the genesis of a new you. That one small paradigm shift could alter the trajectory of your life forever.
Life from the audience
Life from the spectator’s vantage point is safe, uneventful, and very neutral. It allows us to engage in experiences from a distance. We can participate in a precarious situation yet walk away unscathed–nothing lost and nothing gained. The danger of the spectator lifestyle is that there is a level of disengagement that absolves us from taking any responsibility for the things that happen around us and more importantly to us.Advertising
The best part of sitting in the audience is once the show is over you get to critique the performance. The actors’ performances, the cinematography, the musical score, the storyline and plot are all there waiting to be ripped apart, scrutinized, and dismissed by you–a mere mortal with no “skin in the game.” The professional football world refers to this as “Monday morning quarterbacking.” As time progresses, you become increasingly more pious and critical of others. However, when you are faced with a set of circumstances where you must play a role, you excuse your mistakes, feel sorry for yourself and blame others for your tragic failures.
Becoming the screenwriter and star of your life requires you to “do your own stunts.” You must stop daydreaming and living vicariously through others and actively participate. The failures, mistakes, bruises, and scars are worth it. The late, great Jackie Robinson put it like this:Advertising
“Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.“
Life as a scriptwriter and star
Accepting and embracing the fact that you are the star of your own life with creative control over the script is crucial to living a purposeful and fulfilled life with no regrets. You must understand and accept the fact that you alone determine the overall success or failure of your life.Advertising
Being the star and creative force of your life gives you the ability to rewrite the script at a moment’s notice, altering the plot, setting or theme at your discretion. You get to cast and recast your own characters, determine their roles and cut them due to “creative differences,” when necessary. And then there are the plot twists. Sometimes you get to author your own plot twist and sometimes they are authored for you. Either way, a good plot twist makes an excellent movie.
Headlining your life requires a few things. First is audacity. You need to be bold enough to face fear and failure and proceed anyway. Second, you need a vision. Life without vision is akin to a movie without a plot–both are a pointless waste of time. Develop a vision for your life and let it serve as the theme that guides your plot. The last thing you need is perseverance. You have to stick with it in order to make it to the final curtain call. With these attributes and the recognition that a life lived from the audience is no life at all, there is nothing that you can’t accomplish.
Featured photo credit: BagoGames via flickr.com
Last Updated on July 3, 2020
30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life
In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:
1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to
Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.
2. Focus on your breath
Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.
3. Get organized and purge old items
A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.
4. Stop yourself from being judgmental
Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.
5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often
Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.
6. Smile more
Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!
7. Don’t worry about the future
As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.
8. Eat real food
The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.
9. Choose being happy over being right
Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.
10. Keep technology out of the bedroom
Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.
11. Make use of filtering features on social media
You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.
12. Get comfortable with silence
When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.
13. Listen to understand, not to respond
So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.
14. Put your troubles in a bubble
Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.
15. Speak more slowly
Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.
16. Don’t procrastinate
Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.
17. Buy a coloring book
Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.
18. Prioritize yourself
You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.
19. Forgive others
Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.
20. Check your expectations
Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”
21. Engage in active play
Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!
22. Stop criticizing yourself
The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.
23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want
Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.
24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.
Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.
25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of
Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.
26. Manage your money
Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.
27. Stop trying to control everything
Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.
28. Practice affirmations
Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.
29. Get up before sunrise
Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.
30. Be yourself
Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.
Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com